Born 1892 in Modbury, Allen was one of nine children of George Rendle, a baker who died in 1938 and Annie Rendle, who died in 1927.
He enlisted in 8th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and in early August 1915 the 8th and then the 9th joined 20 Brigade in the 7th Division in France. After the briefest experience in the line, both Battalions were hurled into the Battle of Loos on 25th September. Despite German shelling and British gas blowing back on them during the attack, the 8th pressed on leading the attack and captured the German position.
The 9th followed in support and lost a great many men to machine gun fire as they crossed No Man’s Land to join the 8th in their stretch of German trench. The survivors of the two Battalions held the position until the evening of 26th September, when they were withdrawn. In this single battle the 8th suffered 639 casualties and the 9th 476. After a spell near Givenchy both Battalions moved to the Somme area. The Somme remained a relatively quiet sector until the offensive began on 1st July 1916.
He was on the front line at Christmas 1915 when, as a result of a Children’s Concert held on 10 Nov 1915 in Modbury, parcels were sent to all 30 Modbury men on foreign service. The Parish magazine records that the sum of £2 has been spent on wool, which the girls of the Girl’s School are making into socks and mufflers, for use as required. The contents of the parcels varied: all had a khaki handkerchief, boot laces, soap, oxo and matches. The older men had tobacco and cigarettes; the younger ones cigarettes and sweets or chocolates; candles and disinfecting powder for those in the trenches; cocoa or tablets; the blacksmiths a warm scarf as they write home complaining of the cold, and socks for some of the others.
One of the men asked whether we had been told what to send as the things were exactly those they needed most, and could not easily get. Everyone received a programme of the concert.
In response he wrote: ‘I must thank you for the parcel I received today. It came quote as a surprise to me, but these surprise parcels are often very welcome, for instance I was at my wit’s end to get a candles, not one of the boys had one, when your parcel arrived you can guess how pleased I was when I came across the candles. I was also very glad to receive coffee tablets; I am thinking of having some for supper – shall have pleasant thoughts of Modbury when I am drinking it. I am glad to say I am getting on alright up to the present. The trenches are in an awful state in some places, in fact we have been standing knee deep in water. All we are looking forward to now is leave, which we hope to get soon, and then I hope to see Modbury again’.
His letter was published in the February 1916 edition of the Parish magazine and he died in battle on 14th February 1916 aged 24. His memorial is at Ville-sur-Ancre Communal Cemetry, Somme, France.
His brother Warwick also served in the Army and was killed on 18th July 1917.
|Next of Kin:||Son of George Rendle, Baker (d. 1938) and Annie Rendle (d.1927). One of nine children|
|Died On:||14th February 1916|
|Where Buried:||Ville-sur-Ancre Communal Cemetry, somme, France|
|Memorial:||Ville-sur-Ancre Communal Cemetry, somme, France|
|Remarks||His brother, Warwick also served in the Army. He died on 18 July 1917.|